We’ve mentioned before that Charlotte’s in the middle of an apartment boomWith so many new developments popping up from Southend to Southpark and everywhere in between, how do tenants choose which one to lease with? Rents in Charlotte are sky-high, the highest in history, and today’s tenant is far more discerning than they were just ten, five, and even three years ago.

What do prospective tenants look for in a rental property that developers can control? Aside from, of course, the location of the complex itself, there are a few elements almost every tenant notices, consciously or not.


1. Security Features

There’s a fine line between making a rental complex safe and secure for tenants and making it feel like a penitentiary. Developers should aim to include plenty of discreet security features – recessed cameras, built-in alarm systems in each unit, and gated parking – without sacrificing the aesthetics of the development itself. Tenants who are looking for security features will notice them, and those who don’t really care won’t be bothered by them.


2. Storage Space

Space is, of course, at a premium among today’s apartment builders because the more units in a development, the more ROI. Limited closet, pantry, and storage space doesn’t have to be a problem – but it will be if you ignore it. Built-in closet systems go a long way toward making small storage spaces look more appealing and usable, especially in bedroom closets. It’s a small cost to developers upfront but can potentially eliminate a dealbreaker issue down the road.


3. In-Unit Laundry

It’s not the first thing any tenant notices, but once they do, not having an in-unit washer/dryer can be disastrous for a rental property. Especially in high-end buildings, tenants don’t want to have to leave the comfort of their unit to clean their clothes. A little help from a rental staging professional can give you some ideas on where to squeeze in a small system, or even a stackable washer/dryer that won’t seem out of place.


4. Cluttered Common Spaces

Charlotte’s apartment renters love communal spaces…in theory. Pools, game rooms, and “lounge” areas are all selling features until current renters clutter them up with trash, rearranged furniture, and the like. Smart staging means setting up these spaces with furniture that’s not as moveable as individually-owned pieces, and little flat space for sitting down cups and newspapers only to forget them later. Common spaces with hard flooring also tend to look cleaner than those with carpets.


5. Lighting (or Lack Thereof)

Like in-unit laundry, lighting isn’t usually a big issue until it’s missing. It’s hard to see a dark interior unit as an appealing rental option, so using a model unit with lots of light throughout the day is best. Windows, of course, are most plentiful in corner units, letting in lots of light. But don’t forget sources of ambient light like pendants over the bar area, under-cabinet lighting, and recessed lighting in hallways for making a big impression.


6. The Sales Office

It goes without saying, but don’t forget to stage the sales office! It’s where prospective tenants will spend most of their time before they move in, and there’s a good chance they’ll be looking around closely while they’re bored, waiting on paperwork or security clearance. Water features help cover up construction noise, high-end furniture appointments evoke a sense of luxury, and clean, clutter-free tabletops scream “well-maintained.”


Need help appealing to prospective tenants in Charlotte? Creative Model Designs provides imaginative and results-oriented staging services for developers, builders, and model homes in and around Charlotte. Give our design team a call today to find out how we can help!